Ladies Win Opening Day Thriller At Pools

Moors Ladies got their NERWFL Premier Division campaign off to an impressive start on Sunday when they ran out 5-3 winners in a thriller at Hartlepool United.

The two sides were promoted from the Northern Division alongside each other last term and they both looked keen to show they belonged at the higher level with a classic encounter at Grayfields.

Billy Shackleton’s side were boosted by a 3-0 League Cup win over South Shields during their first competitive encounter of the campaign but knew they were in for a difficult assignment against Pools.

That proved to be the case in the opening stages and the home side took the lead when Lauren Gray set Steph Bilcliff through on goal and the Hartlepool striker slipped the ball beyond Moors keeper Steph Miller for 1-0 on 25 minutes.

However, Shackleton’s team rallied and Caitlin Bates almost levelled with a stunning long-range effort which looked set to find the top corner before a brilliant intervention from Pools keeper Lauren Ranson.

Bates wasn’t to be denied though and the former Pools attacker got Moors level when her swirling corner from the left sailed over everyone and nestled into the far corner of the Pools net for 1-1.

It got even better for Moors eight minutes before the break. Bates this time whipped a corner in from the right which found the run of Alice Welch-Davison who turned home her first ever goal for the Club and make it 2-1.

A good crowd was being treated to an entertaining game and Pools got back on level terms three minutes later, this time Bilcliff turning provider to help Robyn Foster prod home the equaliser.

The home side came out firing at the start of the second period and went back in front on 53 minutes when Foster again got in behind the Moors defence to apply an expert finish for 3-2.

Moors took a couple of minutes to clear their heads after the setback but his back just before the hour mark when Katy Hemmingway was in the right place at the right time to fire home her first goal of the season after Beth Enguita’s shot from the left had been parried by the keeper.

Hemmingway then produced a devastating run into the right side of the box before crossing for Autumn Colledge who saw her shot blocked before Bates was also denied by the keeper, only for Courtney Mole to fire through a crowded area from the rebound and make it 4-3 to Moors.

The points were secured in spectacular fashion when Hemmingway collected possession 35 yards out and sent an unstoppable shot over the keeper and into the top corner to set off wild celebrations.

“We’re over the moon to get the three points,” admitted Shackleton afterwards.

“We knew this would be a tough game but to come from behind twice and get the win makes this a really good result for us.

“The girls have all played well and we’ve shown we can win ugly because it definitely wasn’t our best footballing performance.”

Moors will now turn their attention to a first home game of the NERWFL Premier Division season when they host Hull United at The Brewery Field this coming Sunday (2pm kick-off). Admission is just £3 for adults and Under 12s are free.

Full Time: Hartlepool United 3 Moors 5

Moors: Miller, N Jackson, Welch-Davison, O Mole, Foster, Enguita, Reed, Drinkald, Bates, Hemmingway, A Colledge.
Subs: C Mole, Saunders, Middleton, Knox, Grayson.

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